Anderson, Alexander P. (1862–1943)

In December 1901, botanist Alexander Pierce Anderson created puffed rice while experimenting with starch crystals in his laboratory. Although he did not yet realize the significance of his discovery, Anderson's new breakfast food would make him a nationally known figure and the face of a Quaker Oats advertising campaign for almost a decade.

Bruns and Finkle Grain Elevator, Moorhead

In 1878, Red River Valley businessmen Henry A. Bruns and Henry G. Finkle built the first steam-powered grain elevator in the United States. In its first harvest season, the grain elevator handled almost 250,000 bushels of wheat from more than 5,000 wagons.

Coon Rapids Hydroelectric Dam

Between 1913 and 1914 the Coon Rapids hydroelectric dam was constructed with the intent to provide power to Anoka County. The dam was shut down in 1966 after becoming too expensive to operate. It later became part of Minnesota’s environmental control program.

De la Barre, William (1849–1936)

While working at Minneapolis's Washburn mills in the late 1870s, William de la Barre became an internationally known hydroelectricity expert and a key player in the development of water power at St. Anthony Falls.

Duluth Ship Canal Opening, 1871

The opening of the Duluth Ship Canal in 1871 was a historical turning point for the city of Duluth and the Twin Ports of Duluth and Superior.

Ecolab, Inc.

Ecolab, Inc., is a public company that provides hygiene, water, and energy products and services. It was founded in 1923 as Economics Laboratory in St. Paul. By 2017, it employed 38,000 workers in over 170 countries, served customers in more than 1.3 million locations, and reported annual sales of $13 billion. It counted among its employees 1,600 scientists and held 6,300 patents.

Goodsell Observatory, Northfield

The Goodsell Observatory and its predecessor, a smaller observatory that opened in 1878, helped keep trains running on time and brought national prominence to Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century.

Honeywell Round Thermostat

The world's most iconic home thermostat was created in Minneapolis. The Round, designed by engineer Carl Kronmiller and designer Henry Dreyfuss, was introduced in 1953 by the company then known as Minneapolis-Honeywell. The Round became both a sales mainstay and a world-renowned piece of industrial art.

Hot Ponds

The heated mill pond, or "hot pond," was invented around 1890. This innovation in Minnesota logging made it possible for logging companies to run their sawmills year-round.

Hydroelectricity in Minneapolis, September 5, 1882

Centralized hydroelectric power came on for the first time in the United States in downtown Minneapolis on September 5, 1882. Minnesota Brush Electric Company produced the power, beating a similar effort in Appleton, Wisconsin, by twenty-five days.

Lillehei, C. Walton (1918–1999)

Dr. C. Walton Lillehei was a world-famous professor of surgery at the University of Minnesota and an innovator in the field of open-heart surgery. He participated in the world's first successful open-heart operation, developed techniques and devices that made open-heart surgery more successful, and pioneered the use of pacemakers and artificial heart valves.

Lindbergh, Charles A. (1902–1974)

Charles A. Lindbergh, a native of Little Falls, became a world-famous aviator after completing the first nonstop, solo transatlantic flight in May 1927.

Medtronic

The Medtronic medical device company was founded in 1949 by Earl Bakken and Palmer Hermundslie. From its beginnings in a converted garage, it has grown into a multi-billion-dollar enterprise and one of Minnesota’s leading businesses.

Oregon Trail (computer game)

First imagined in 1971 by Minnesota student teachers, Oregon Trail went on to become the longest-published and most successful educational game of all time. As of 2017, more than 65 million copies have been sold worldwide, and the game that began on a teletype machine remains popular in a version designed for smartphones.

Pietenpol Airplanes

When Bernard Pietenpol started to build airplanes in his Cherry Grove workshop, he had never actually piloted one. He only learned to fly once he had built his first plane. Nevertheless, Pietenpol's popular designs for lightweight, easy-to-construct airplanes made him the "father of the homebuilt aircraft movement."

Precision Agriculture

Precision agriculture is a farming method that uses the global navigation satellite system (GNSS), sensors on the ground, and drones in the air to study individual farm fields. With these tools, farmers can fine-tune their approaches to planting, harvesting, and maintaining crops to save themselves time and money. Minnesota farmers have used the technology since the early 1990s to improve crop yields while protecting the health of their soil.

Ronning Ensilage Harvester

Patented in 1915, the ensilage harvester improved on standard practices for harvesting and storing crops, and streamlined farm work. Its basic design, largely unmodified, is still used by agricultural implement companies worldwide.

Rural Electrification Administration in Minnesota

On May 11, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 7037 to create the Rural Electrification Administration (REA), a New Deal public relief program. The program provided $1 million for federal loans to bring electric service to rural areas. It revolutionized life in rural Minnesota and across the country.

Television in Minnesota, 1928–1961

Minnesota was a pioneer in the early years of broadcast television. From the 1920s through the 1960s, local stations achieved many national firsts and produced enduring TV legends.

Thermo King Model C

In 1939, Frederick McKinley Jones patented the world’s first successful refrigerated transportation system. At the time, he was working for the Minneapolis-based company U.S. Thermo Control. Two years later, he released an improved version, the Model C, which revolutionized the agriculture and military industries.